Lima, Monday, November 11, 2013.
Dear Dr. Leone:
Exactly four months after my July 10 Total Knee Replacement surgery, at age 56, I paddled out to surf a wave at Punta Rocas, my favorite point break in Lima, Perú. It was 8am and the waves were about six feet high. It was great just to drive early, get in my wetsuit and carry my heavy board to the shore.
The whole process was enlightening, as my body muscles felt every step of the way. However, much to my surprise, my knee felt great. Once I got in the water, it was cool and soothing; as easy as riding a bike. My friends were very surprised to see me; especially when I paddled one of the best waves of the day.
Standing up on the board had been my greatest mental challenge, since bending the knee with my whole weight on top seemed impossible during the four months of rehabilitation therapy. However, there I was, with no pain or swelling, maneuvering exquisitely. Felt like Heaven!
Just like when, during the first three days after my operation, I woke up to your “Good Morning.” Talk to me about personalized attention!
Going back to those uncertain moments, I must ratify my admiration for the professional team approach I experienced ever since March, when I met Julie, you, Dr. Susan Simonton and the rest of your office staff. It is unfair not to mention each and every one of them, so please, let all of them read this letter as if written directly to them, including your Hospital Staff. All of them have been certainly given part of the divine powers you possess.
Once I got to the Hospital in July, it was like being adopted by an NFL team. Everything worked out very smoothly and your pain management and in house rehab process was superb. And, make no mistake; I do know pain and impersonal service due to my other prior different surgical experiences (6).
A very special regard to Dr. Denise Cohen, my other Angel who never let my optimism go down. I will try to copy this letter to her and to the external Health Rehab center staff, as well.
Modern times call for short communications, so let me just wrap it up by saying that you and your whole team and technology have infinitely exceeded my most ambitious expectations.
One more thing I must trust you; a few weeks ago I went to the basketball court, to see my other friends, and even shot a few hoops and carefully refereed for them.
So, as I must apologize for my long silence, I hope the good news will overcome my apparent lack of gratitude.
The enclosed photograph does not correspond exactly to the day I have described; but the wave is exactly at the same place, ridden by exactly the same surfer: me.
May God bless you all and everybody I met in the TKR and rehab process.
You have turned me into a Holy Cross fan.
Please do write if you or any of the persons I met ever come to Lima.
I will try to reciprocate part of the velvet glove treatment that I got.
Francisco “Pancho” Eguren